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Mobile Apps vs Web Apps – Which is Best for You?

Image of Apps on a Smartphone

If you’ve been thinking about implementing an app into your business, you may be aware that there are various options that must be decided on before your app concept can become a reality.

One of the considerations we at Appoly take during the initial consultation stage is whether your requirements are suited to a mobile app developer or a web app developer. We can discuss the benefits and limitations of both architectures.

In this post, we will be discussing the differences between mobile apps and web apps, and we will be weighing up the pros and cons of each.

 

What Are Mobile Native Apps & Web Apps?

Both mobile apps and web apps are capable of doing a lot of the same things, they can both be developed to handle some very impressive functions and are both reliable application platforms, but there are some key features that set them apart from each other. Here are definitions of the two:

 

  • Mobile Native Apps – Native apps are the apps that you will find in stores such as the iOS App Store or Android’s Play Store. These are applications that have been developed specifically for one platform / operating system. Applications can also be privately deployed for enterprise use.

 

  • Web Apps – Web apps are applications that harness a devices web browser in order to be accessed. Web apps aren’t developed specifically for one particular platform, so they can be run through many different browsers on various devices.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Mobile Apps & Web Apps?

Both mobile apps and web apps have their advantages and disadvantages, there isn’t a definitive better option as it all comes down to what a specific person or business wants out of their application. Let’s explore the pros and cons of mobile apps and web apps.

 

The Pros of Mobile Native Apps:

  • Mobile native apps are developed for one specific platform; therefore, they are able to harness a lot more of the features of their device much easier, these features may include GPS, contacts, camera, augmented reality & more.

 

  • Native apps generally are able to reach a larger audience due to being displayed in application stores, this means that they can be recommended to people who have similar apps in their catalogue, or if your app becomes popular on the store.

 

  • Generally, mobile apps run faster and more efficiently than a web app would, this is due to the fact that they are designed for their specific operating system and as such will be optimised for that particular platform and are able to utlitise 100% of the hardwares potential.

 

The Cons of Mobile Native Apps:

  • If you’re having a mobile native application developed, there are extra rules and regulations that will have to be followed for compliance (such as meeting Apples Human Interface guidelines). Applications are vetted through an in-house review process on the respective app stores before they are published.

 

  • Mobile native apps require a download before they can be used on a person’s device. This is generally not a huge problem as modern devices tend to have enough memory to easily store many applications, although it is still a limiting factor.

 

 

The Pros of Web Apps:

  • A web application can be accessed on a wide array of devices and browsers. This gives web apps the edge when it comes to app development cost as it allows you to just have one standalone application developed that will work on all platforms.

 

  • If legal regulations are followed, no further regulations will need to be considered, this means there are slightly more options for web apps as opposed to native applications.

 

  • Web apps are accessed via an online server, this means that no download is required to use your web application, which is positive as it saves space and time for the end-user. Connectivity on any device is usually required in order to use a web application.

 

The Cons of Web Apps:

  • Although the lack of a download requirement for web apps is a positive thing, it also means that users will need the internet in order to load your web application, this is a setback from mobile applications which are downloaded locally and therefore can be accessed without the need of an internet connection.

 

  • Web apps aren’t optimised for each individual platform that they will be used on; therefore, they aren’t able to harness as many of the devices features, this can be a problem if your app requires a lot of integration with the features of a device.

 

  • The discoverability of a web app is typically not as good as with a native app due to the fact that web apps aren’t listed on an application store and as such won’t be recommended to users within that format. This means that you will have to do more to market your web application for the same amount of discoverability.

 

So, which is Best for You?

As stated above, there is no definitive better option between the two, it all comes down to your business requirements.

If you’re unsure about your decisions, Appoly have a great team of professional consultants to make the whole process a lot easier for you.

 

Contact Appoly for Consultancy & Development Services

We hope that you have found this article interesting and informative. If you’d like to book a consultation with us to further explore your options, or to start professional development on your project, get in touch with us and we can discuss your needs and see what we can do for you.

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